The record label / DJ production team started in 1993, to begin with I ran the label from the tiny back office of Funky World records in Stafford. With Neil and myself making many regular trips up and down the motorway so that we could get together to produce our music. I remember the shop below the record store being empty, we use to black out the windows so that people could not see us stickering our first few releases.
Our first release Smokin Beats volume 1 sold out (2,500 units) and things started to gain momentum. The second release hit Mixmag updates buzz chart and master mixer Tony Humphries New York Kiss FM house chart. At the time many shops and distributors were using these charts as buying guides when it came to stocking there own shop fronts with new releases.
The first time I meet Louie Vega he just happen to mention that he’d regularly been playing the B side of our second release at his legendary night at the Sound Factory bar in New York. From here our killer tracks came one after the other, Jazz House, Times Are Changing, Look Who’s Loving Me and Dreams. Smokin Beats – Dreams our tenth release hit the national charts at no 22 after it was picked up by Universal’s AMPM imprint. The biggest seller on our own label and still my favorite track to date is Look Who’s Loving Me, we sold 17,500 copies on twelve inch vinyl. The legendary club Hard Times celebrated their 19th anniversary club night in Leeds (August bank holiday weekend 2012) and used the track on there promo mix.
We released 56 singles, six of the singles had a separate remix 12 inch release, plus three Smokin Beats special 12 inch releases. So after 65 12 inch releases and one triple album I closed the studio doors at the end of 2006. At the time everybody was moaning about the lack of vinyl sales, shops closing constantly, distributors going bankrupt and not able to pay record labels for their sold stock. The blame was aimed at people’s increasingly, alarming illegal download habits.
Now driven by the next generation’s love for deep house, it is time for me to resurrect Smokin Beats.
Check out the music tab plus new forthcoming material which you will see on this page, starting with the disco house sounds of House Party. I have also signed a great producer from France going under the guise of Ed Warner and there are more great producers coming.